My research simulation involves answering the question “what impact does play have on cultivating cognitive development in Kindergarteners, in school, in their community and in their natural environment?” I believe this is crucial to the field of early childhood in that play is quickly taking a backseat to academic rigor and standards in early childhood classrooms and environments. As early childhood stakeholders, we need to develop our voice in advocating for topics such as these, as they are crucial to early childhood development. My simulation has helped equip me with necessary tools in developing this voice and sense of advocacy.
I believe this research would benefit children, families, and early childhood educators. I think play is quickly—and sadly—becoming a dying art; one that many do not see the value behind. I think this research could really shed a light on the importance of this.
Perceptions regarding early childhood have changed for me in this course in that I realize how much time, preparation, consideration, and analyzing goes into conducting a single research study. I also realized how much more valuable this type of information can be and have discovered ways to access it amidst the overflow of electronic information. According to Trochim, Donnelly, and Arora (2016), “good research communication depends on doing everything well, including telling the story” (p. 329). I have become much more apt at deciphering the “story” research has to tell and much less intimidated by it. I have also gained more of a realization of the plethora of early childhood resources and research studies that are available. This will certainly guide my future research, practice, and teaching.
To my colleagues who have worked diligently to grasp a deeper understanding of research together and share their own experiences, I want to say “thank you.” It has been a pleasure to learn and grow alongside all of you!
Trochim, W. M., Donnelly, J. P., & Arora, K. (2016). Research methods: The essential knowledge base (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.